Aviation Office: Mid-air Crash Caused by Pilot Taking Photos

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Wreckage of one of the aircraft downed following a mid-air collision near Cerveny Kamen in August 2015. (Photo by TASR)

Slavnica, April 4 (TASR) – An official investigation released Monday into the fatal mid-air collision of two Let L-410 Turbolet aircraft during a rehearsal of synchronised skydiving for an air show in Slavnica (Trencin region) last August has indicated that a lack of discipline by one of the pilots was responsible.

The planes were carrying 17 skydivers and two pilots each. Out of the 38 people on board, 31 skydivers managed to parachute to safety. All four pilots and three skydivers were killed in the crash.

According to Juraj Gyenes from the Aviation and Navigation Investigation Office, the main cause of the collision near Cerveny Kamen was a lack of attention by the chief pilot of one of the planes.

“We’ve concluded the investigation and we’ve come to an unequivocal conclusion that the pilot of the aircraft that should have been flying further back and lower than the first aircraft wasn’t paying proper attention, and he was taking photos of the first plane instead. In the meantime he drew level with the first aircraft and eventually caused a collision,” said Gyenes.